How to use a conservatory as a playroom • Featuring Homebase
We were very lucky in our last house to have a kitchen that we could eat in and a dining room that we used as a playroom for the boys. A playroom is like a dream space! Somewhere to hide a multitude of plastic sins, a space the children can call their own and a room to be less precious with.
That's how I see it anyway! It's a room to play in.
When we started searching for this house, a playroom was high on my wish list. The boys are close in age and play with the same toys so a shared space for their growing collection of toys and games was a top priority. They have Spring and Summer birthdays and we like parties (Did you see last years?!) which means they always have sack fulls of presents from friends and family as well as the Christmas haul!
We "viewed" the house online a number of times before we actually drove by and tried to use the floor plan to see which rooms could have dual purpose, which rooms would work for a home office space and whether the house would work for now and have potential for the future.
Then when we came to view it in the flesh after a chance drive by (Sounds like a shooting!) we realised the conservatory would make a perfect play space. We have grand plans one day in the distant future, of knocking through the kitchen and conservatory, and making one larger family kitchen which would benefit from the gorgeous views across the garden. The conservatory feels like an add on, which of course it is, but set against the 300 year old beautiful stone and crooked window frames, it feels out of place.
It is however the most perfectly light room, even on a wet day and with a little tlc we are hoping to transform it.
We have never been huge fans of conservatories they always seem freezing in the Winter and stifling in the Summer, but they are brilliant additional space. They make the house feel bigger and with a few handy hints can be put to best use.
- Keeping your toys in baskets or boxes. A conservatory roof allows the lovely sunshine to shine through, which over time will discolour and fade all your furniture, toys and pictures. I have my eye on this rather lovely fun unit from Homebase, which would help keep the toys hidden from those sun rays!
- Putting down carpet or use big rugs. Hard floors seem more practical but they make a conservatory feel so chilly on a Winter morning (Unless yours is heated obviously.)
- Using as much wall space as possible to leave room for playing! Bolt shelving systems or bookcases to the external wall, especially if your house is made up of stone work. Our external walls which make up the internal walls in the conservatory are very bumpy, so furniture doesn't sit flush to the walls well. Tall bookcases could easily topple over and that's the last thing you want with little ones.
- Making digital scan copies of any pictures or children's artwork you may frame or hang up. They will fade quickly.
- Giving it a good airing. Open a window on a daily basis to let some fresh air flow. It's tempting in the colder months to keep them airtight to keep heat in but you can end up with that slightly musky smell, due to the room heating up and down each day.
I love the boys using a pair of vintage school desks as their writing and drawing table but as they face a wall they are not so sociable for snack teas. You can find them on eBay if you are after a similar set or if you fancy a modern design take this Saplings desk set is lovely.
I'd really like to get them a table and chairs set that they could eat on, for days when we don't sit together as a family at the dining table. The boys love a picnic tea so I am on the hunt for a smaller table and chairs, that perhaps I could paint?
I am addicted to the Annie Sloan chalk paint and desperately want to paint the internal woodwork in the conservatory to lose the dark brown and freshen it up. Old Ochre is my current favourite. Have you used it? Isn't it amazing?!
So check back in and see our progress. I'm currently slap happy with the chalk paint in the kitchen! You can see my other inspiration for the playroom over on my Pinterest board so have a peek...
In collaboration with Homebase and their great range of children's furniture